Forget Wine: Beer is the Best New Thanksgiving Drink

Written by William Bostwick for Bon Appétit


The Thanksgiving table is defined by a golden turkey, a white tablecloth, family angst, and a festive bottle of…beer? That’s right. The holiday’s American roots and patchwork of flavors suit it to craft brew, which is often more versatile than wine and always more humble. Luckily, the best craft beers come in large-format packages that are worth showing off at the table.

Often fermented a second time in the bottle, like Champagne, beers such as wits (white beers) and saisons (farmhouse ales) are extra-bubbly, which means that the heavy, oversized glass and cage-reinforced cork serve a practical purpose. But the bottle is symbolic, too, of a beer to savor and, more important, to share. Maybe that’s why extra-large beers–whether wax-dipped, foil-wrapped, corked, or all three–look so good. These big bottles hold brews that are often strongly flavored and just plain stronger than their lower-alcohol 12-ounce siblings. So treat them like wine. (Smaller pours also mean a bottle will go farther.)
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Big Beer Moves Into Small-batch Space

A Column written by Tim Logan for

All puns aside, craft beer is hopping.

Sales of more-flavorful, all-malt brews have surged at a double-digit clip the past few years.

So much so that fast-growing labels such as California’s Lagunitas and Colorado-based New Belgium are planning new breweries to serve national markets. Meanwhile, little brewpubs have popped up left and right — at least six have opened in St. Louis in two years — churning out small-batch servings of porters and pale ales, and building an image of a sector full of scrappy entrepreneurs.

Now, increasingly, Big Beer is getting into the act as well, buying and building craft labels, then plugging them into their huge marketing and distribution networks.
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Pakistan’s Lone Beer Maker Seeks Overseas Business

Workers at Pakistan’s lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, line up empty beer bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi, Nov. 10, 2012. All images by Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

From an Amna Nawaz report at

Faisal Mahmood, Reuters-s Murree Brewery, established in 1860 by British colonial rulers to supply beer to their troops, is desperately looking for business overseas to hedge against its uncertain domestic market. Prohibition was imposed in Pakistan in 1977. Non-Muslims and foreigners must obtain a government permit to purchase alcohol at designated retailers which are mainly upscale hotels.

An employee prepares barley at the Murree Brewery in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Nov. 10.
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We Want the Funk…Give Up the Funk!

Written by Brandon Jones for Embrace the Funk

You’ve got a real type of thing going down – George Clinton

So back in July I mentioned 2 potential pieces of news I was excited about…one still needed to be confirmed, which was Linus Hall (Owner of Yazoo Brewing Company) and I were going to use one of my funky barrels to age a beer in. We talked a few times over the past year about doing some sort of funky “one off” project…well recently that project/news turned into something much bigger, better and funkier! Yazoo and I are teaming up to release an “Embrace The Funk Series” (as it will be called) of wild and sour beers!!! Yes Nashville, the funk is coming your way and soon.

New Barrel Gun
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Beer After Work at the Bar: A U.S. Tradition is Getting Stale

Coors vs Molosns: REALLY? This is mega brew vs, craft? -PGA

Courtesy Brendon O’Brien, Courtesy

(Reuters) – A tattooed man with a goatee shakes five dice in a black cup, slams it down on the bar and watches as they come to rest among half-full beer bottles and empty shot glasses.

“Nothin,” he says in disgust as he quickly slaps down a $20 bill to buy another round of drinks, in a U.S. ritual of beer drinking after work that is undergoing a gradual decline.

“I used to get the third-shift Allen Bradley guys in the morning, but they have cut and cut jobs,” said Terry Zadra, owner of the 177-year-old Zad’s Roadhouse on the south side of Milwaukee.
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Brew Biz: Werts and All

One can think of FAR worse places to judge beer, and few better.

The Topic: A Beer Judge’s Diary, November 10th, 2012

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Written by Ken Carman

Last year we judged at the very first BJCP sanctioned beer competition in Mississippi: Jackson. We wanted to support them for daring to do so since brewing homebrew is illegal in Mississippi. (And Alabama too.) Apparently they enjoyed the small category competition last year so much they went crazy and did a full blown category competition this year. Well, since we like going crazy too, but with a collie whose ears had become infected: packed with an anti-fungal, wax-like substance, we thought it best to limit the crazy time: get up at 12 midnight, drive, and come back at 3 am the next morning.

And I’m calling doing a full blown competition “crazy?” What I just typed alone made me want to yawn.

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Disrespecting Low-Calorie Light Beer

Written by Jay Brooks for The Brookston Beer Bulletin

Ugh, why do people keep defending low-calorie light diet beer? It’s an abomination. It should go away. It’s a marketing trick. It’s the best selling kind of beer in America, and defending it is the equivalent of complaining about the “War on Christmas” or the “War on White People.” Yes, sales have been slipping lately, with more people choosing beer with flavor, but certainly not enough to put much of a dent in the sheer volume of this dreck. Yes, many, if not most, craft beer drinkers choose not to drink it and some even bash it as something not worthy of respect. Well, I am one of those people. Not everything deserves our respect. I respect how difficult it is to make, but in the end that’s not the standard I want to use for how I choose what to drink. Degree of difficulty may be fine for Olympic gymnastics or diving, but taste is far more important to me when it comes to my beer.
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Why Beer Growlers are Bad for Your Brew

The brewmaster considers destruction…

Written by Andrew Knowlton with Sam Dean, for

Growlers are big right now with beer geeks. The refillable half-gallon bottles let you roll on up to your favorite brewery/fancy beer store/Whole Foods and get a tap-fresh jug o’ suds. They’ve got that back-to-the-basics “artisanal” vibe. Hell, they even have a handle.

Too bad brewers (a.k.a. the pros) can’t stand the things.

The last time I hung out with Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery and editor-in-chief of the Oxford Companion to Beer, the touchy subject of growlers came up. In short, he thinks they suck.

“It’s more of a love-hate relationship,” Oliver told me on the phone last week, on tour to promote the Oxford tome. “Brewers love the opportunity to get some beers that are not in bottles in front of a general public, and certainly beer drinkers love them.”

But? “Brewers tend to hate them. Growlers are basically beer destroyers. They’re often unsanitary, and the refilling process mixes in a lot of oxygen–the tiniest amount of oxygen kills beer so quickly. Then, if you walk across the street with say, an IPA, in full sunlight, with a clear growler, the beer will skunk before you get to your car.”
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